Supplementing calcium for pregnant women immediately before, during pregnancy and during breastfeeding period is indispensable.
Calcium plays a vital role in the formation of the nervous system, cardiovascular, as well as in supporting the development of bones and teeth of the fetus. This important mineral helps pregnant mothers not suffer from pains, fatigue and even convulsions during pregnancy due to severe calcium deficiency. So, calcium supplementation for pregnant women before, during pregnancy and during breastfeeding period is indispensable.
Calcium supplementation for pregnant women – how much is it enough?
On average, as a pregnant woman’s calcium requirements in each phase as follows:
– The first period of pregnancy (2-3 months early): 800 mg / day.
– The 2nd period of pregnancy (third trimester): 1000 mg / day.
– The post period of pregnancy and the breastfeeding period: 1500mg / day.
Without adequate calcium supplementation for pregnant women, the fetus can suffer from malnutrition, congenital rickets, deformities due to distorted bones, poor height growth. Simultaneously, pregnant women easily suffer from prone pains, leg numbness, muscle aches, fatigue and severe blood calcium reduction, causing dangerous seizures.
Normally, during pregnancy, calcium needs increase dramatically, sometimes daily food does not provide enough calcium for mothers and babies, so doctors usually appoint calcium supplements for pregnant women by taking extra calcium tablets. However, the demand for calcium in each pregnant woman is different, so mothers will see the doctor for necessary tests to measure the level of calcium, thereby determining dosages which need to be complemented in a logical way. Absolutely, mothers should not voluntarily supplement calcium without asking the doctor because it can also cause great harms (fetus are particularly vulnerable to the increase in calcium in the blood; fontanelle will be closed soon after birth; jaw is easily deformed, broadened and protruded; mothers suffer from an excess of calcium. The amount of excess calcium excreted in the urine can cause vascular calcification or urinary stones).
Supplementing calcium for pregnant women from food
Absorbing natural nutrients is always the easiest and the most profitable, so pregnant women can supplement calcium rich foods each day in their meals. Foods which are rich in calcium for pregnant women include:
– Yogurt: 1 cup of yogurt often provides about 450 mg of calcium while low-fat yogurt contains about 410 mg and fruit yogurt provides calcium 345 mg / cup; That is the reason why pregnant women should eat yogurt every day (Let’s remember to select unsweetened if mothers is at risk of being overweight or gestational diabetes).
– Milk: Milk from animals or plants contain a lot of calcium, an average of 300 mg/ 230-ml cup. Moms can freely choose types of milk according to their taste: cow’s milk, goat’s milk, milk from soy, almond, coconut or barley, etc.
– Cheese (cheese): one small piece of cheese (40g) contains 300 – 330 mg of calcium, equivalent to cup of milk. But cheese contains so much energy and it is not generally recommended for pregnant women, so mothers should use a limited amount.
– Tofu, also known as bean curd: a slab of soya curd contains about 800 mg of calcium, provides nearly enough daily calcium as required. Therefore, pregnant women should regularly eat tofu because it is an effective way for supplementing calcium for the body. However, tofu sold at the market often contains much gypsum, so mothers can learn to do / buy tofu at reputable and guaranteed places.
– Vegetables: borecole (kale), broccoli, spinach and other green leafy vegetables contain lots of calcium, so mothers regularly add them into the daily menu. Also, mothers should eat more lean meat, fish, eggs and drink milk every day.
– Black beans: one cup of black beans can provide 105 mg of calcium for pregnant women. Also, mothers may add other legumes because they are tasty and rich in nutrients, especially calcium.
– Seafood: It is always “famous” for richness in calcium; seafood such as shrimp, crab, fish, etc helps mothers and babies are healthy, and well-developed; let’s eat 1-2 meals of seafood per week!
Supplementing calcium for pregnant women from calcium tablets
As mentioned above, food does not provide enough daily calcium needs, so mothers should take extra calcium tablets each day. However, to know how to use the dosage and instructions, the mother must especially adhere to the designation of doctors because if mothers add according to the wrong way, it will cause harmful effects, “more harm than good “. In addition, there are extremely important notes which mothers shouldn’t ignore. They are:
– Don’t supplement calcium and iron parallel: Although the two minerals are necessary for pregnant women, calcium prevents the body from absorbing iron. Therefore, mothers should take calcium tablets in the morning and take iron tablets in the afternoon (or take calcium and iron tablets as recommended by doctors / dieticians). Mothers need to also remember that they should not eat foods rich in iron and calcium together, such as milk and iron.
– Vitamin D plays a vital role in the absorption and metabolism of calcium in the body, so in addition to eating foods rich in calcium, pregnant mothers need to supplement adequate vitamin D daily.
– Pregnant women should take calcium tablets in the morning (1 hour after breakfast) or afternoon (1 hour after lunch); should not drink in the evening because it is easy to make Mama suffer from insomnia and kidney stones.
– Mothers should split the dosage if mothers have to add more calcium, because the body only absorbs about 500mg a time.
– Pregnant mothers suffering from preeclampsia and high blood pressures should not choose calcium tablets containing sodium because during this time the body needs to minimize sodium; on the other hand, pregnant women with gestational diabetes should not choose sugar containing calcium products to ensure healthy issues. Some types of lead small calcium may harm the unborn baby, so in any case pregnant women need carefully check ingredients before buying and using.
– Groups of oxalate containing foods reduce the absorption of calcium by the body, so pregnant women should not drink / eat calcium rich foods with oxalate foods such as tea, strawberry, chocolate, fruit juice, etc.